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Windows 8 anyone?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Sparky, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I customer I support buys their own IT kit and for some reason they decided to buy laptops running Windows 8. I then got a call asking how to use the fecking thing and ended up sending the laptops back and buying ones with Windows 7.

    Anyways – has anyone taken the plunge and started to roll this out to desktops yet? I understand there is potential for laptops but I can see desktops being quite problematic for users to accept the new interface. The amount of hassle I got when starting to roll out Office 2007 with the new ribbon interface gave me more stress than usual. :blink

    Anyone got any success stories? …..and messing around with Windows 8 in the IT department does not count! :biggrin
     
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  2. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Had a very similar conversation at work today actually.

    No chance of rolling it out there - we're not even sure of Office 2013 either (and we already use Win7 with Office 2010...).
     
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  3. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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  4. GSteer

    GSteer Megabyte Poster

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    We're advising clients to stick with Win 7 for the time being.

    Had one client purchase their own laptop, after configuring it on the network for them I'm not sure if they even using it yet.
     
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  5. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Windows 8 is a great OS for the single user, or home market. However put it in a domain environment and it just doesn't work....Yet.

    Working in a school where we have to lock things down tighter than most for us to deploy would require starting from scratch with all of our policies, not to mention the staff training (pretty sure the kids would pick it up) on the new interface.

    Currently Win 7 works and is staying for a couple of years anyway. Once Win 8 makes more progress in the home market and people become more familiar with it then we will look at deploying.
     
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    They can pry Windows 7 out of my cold dead hands.... rather go Ubuntu than put up with the aberation that is Windows 8.
     
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  7. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    It's being actively rolled out at several of our customers and we're working on various PoC's and even roll-outs. It depends on how you view the thing, if your feeling towards it is negative, you won't really feel warm to the idea of pushing it to a corp environment. YMMV.
     
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  8. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

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    Im currently using Office 2013 and dont see any problems with it so far.

    As for Windows 8 i installed it onto a meeting room PC and got quite use to it and liked it. It works quite well in there also because the PC's hooked up to a projector and smartboard, so its like one big tablet on the wall lol.
     
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  9. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Only a couple of gripes about office 2013 so far from me are the visio stencils that come with it, they have the metro feel to them but they do not match any of the stencil library I've built up over time. Too basic looking for my taste. Also the UI takes a bit of getting used to, keeps reminding me of win 3.11.
     
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  10. Mr_Cellophane

    Mr_Cellophane Nibble Poster

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    I bought my wife a Win8 laptop (let her work it out and tell me :tongue) It is OK with a touch screen, but I wouldn't like to use it with a mouse, or even worse a touch pad.
     
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  11. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I've not even seen it tbh. I've heard all about the metro interface but as yet not had two minutes to install an evaluation. There literally isn't enough hours in the day :( I love Win7. I can see it becoming the new XP (companies will keep it to the bitter end causing Microsoft to extend extend extend its shelf life (reluctantly))
     
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  12. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Saw it in a shop, tried it and within 5 mins decided I would rather use Windows ME

    We are still using XP at our school. Looking at a plan to roll out Win 7 during the summer, but we will see.
     
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  13. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I'm getting to grips with this now, along with Office 2K13.

    It's a bit of a bind at first, but it's a lot quicker than W7. I like. I actually like.
     
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  14. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    I hear similar things quite often these days. It doesn't seem like 5 minutes is enough to really get the grasp of W8 and you end up not liking it. It takes a few hours, or even a few days of use to finally 'get' the way it works, and then things just begin to fall in place. Admittedly, it's not always perfect and there are nagging things that I too would prefer to see done in a different way in W8, but I could say that about my car, house, girlfr... err, maybe not the latter lest she be reading over my shoulder :)

    But in all seriousness (because this is serious business, just like the internets), I wrote the following 'observation' of how I've come to accept W8. Read on, it's long (the original discussion began with people asking what's new about the search function and why would one type something to start programs):

    It's like a car gearbox.
    A manual and an automatic both have one, but one of them requires additional work to operate and use.
    Both of them get the job done, and some people prefer one over the other.

    In Windows 8, the search 'tool' simply operates the moment you begin typing (albeit in the right environment). It won't kick in if you're writing an essay in Office Word, but it will kick in if you begin typing while using a tool such as the Store app (in which case it begins searching the on-line store for the word you're typing).
    In Windows 7, the tool is accessed by clicking start or pressing the Winkey first, and it's a little more restricted to specific content found on the local machine, that's all.

    It's just something you need to play around with a little to figure out if it's actually of any use to you, or not. TBH, I never bothered searching for my files in Windows 7 by typing words into the search box. I always kept my files categorized neatly in folders and I still pick my files from these folders using file explorer. I would occasionally use the 'winkey+R' trick to get the RUN box to type stuff like services.msc.

    However in the case of Windows 8, I do find myself using the typing trick now and then to find some programs such as the control panel. It's just a little bit easier to get to this way. I never bothered doing so in previous editions of Windows and instead chose to click through the Start menu options until I found what I was looking for

    In regards to the question of Windows 8 actually bringing something truly new to the table? Well, it's not like were going from driving a car to flying an airplane, but a few of the changes have made things a little more comfortable to perform.

    Yeah, it's true that what one achieves with Windows 7 can pretty much be achieved with Windows XP as well, but sometimes the changes run a little deeper. For example, there's no support for SSD TRIM functions in Windows XP. Unfortunately, lack of this can cause an SSD to deteriorate quicker. If you never bothered to get an SSD, then you could say "big deal" and move on. But some of us are also gamers and Microsoft is choosing to support features such as DirectX with the full amplitude of graphics options only on the latest OS releases. In some instances, a game may require a DirectX 10 or 11 feature found on a recent GPU, and if these features simply are not available on XP (or Windows 7), you may consider upgrading the OS in this instance. And it's not just DirectX features, but additional features available via UEFI (such as quicker than 16bit BIOS access), new CPU instruction sets and more, are features which are only becoming available for new operating systems as development is arrested and deprecated on the older releases.

    Some additional changes were also required, such as removing 'bulk' from Windows 8, stuff that remained in the OS due to backwards compatibility with Windows XP capabilities. Some legacy apps/hardware which has either disappeared entirely, or has seen a large reduction in use, made it possible to streamline stuff. Some figures show Windows 8 having a minimum bootup time improvement of 25%, a 40% reduction in memory consumption, a 10% increase in core OS speed for certain capabilities, etc... etc... So for some, that $40 upgrade may be able to breathe some new life to an otherwise aging PC. Once again, it's just a choice and one can either shell out $800 for a new PC, or gain an additional speed increase by trying out Windows 8.

    Yeah, the interface is pretty radical and new. It's scary, alien, all that stuff. As humans, a lot of us just like to maintain our old habits and it gets even worse as we grow old. Sometimes you can't teach new tricks to an old dog so to say...

    so what about me, am I still liking Windows 8 after all these months? Yeah, I'm actually quite happy with how things are. No, I haven't upgraded all my PC's yet (funnily enough, my gaming machine still runs Windows 7 and I really should take heed of my own words and upgrade it to Windows 8 for that additional speed bump I mentioned earlier on... but reinstalling all my games is a chore which I'll look into during my Xmas break). But I found that my style of working has evolved.

    I still spend most of my time on the desktop. Sometimes I spend an entire day there, never even seeing the new UI (i.e. if I'm deep into documentation), but what I have discovered is that I'm more comfortable in opening programs based on my needs.

    For example, back in the days of Windows 7, XP and older, I would always install applications and then leave them into the Start menu. I never pinned anything to the task bar, I almost never left any icons on the desktop (usually just Steam). If I needed a program, I'd click Start, click Programs, find the application folder, click to open that, find the program itself, click to start that, etc... It was not super streamlined, but it worked just fine! If I had to open another app, I would once again click Start, and begin the process all over.

    However, when I wanted to click an icon on the desktop (such as Steam), I'd have to minimize all Windows (or winkey-M), open that app, and then maximize my windows again to continue accessing the other apps I had open. Once again, it works just fine! But after using Windows 8, I've begun to find the above mentioned processes a little clumsier and slower to perform.

    Now with Windows 8, I actually take some care in organizing my New UI Start menu. By configuring a new Windows 8 computer with my Microsoft account (the ex-Live/Passport account), I can have all my icons, the look and feel of them, roam with me from machine to machine (not enabled by default and per-machine configurable). If I install an app, I do a cleanup in the new UI Start menu by placing the icon for that app in a location that my mind sort of builds a location image of, and if I were to open that app, all I'd need to do is hover my mouse somewhere close to that part of the screen where I know the icon is, and I'd very quickly find it, ready to be clicked on because (yes) the icons are quite large and provide an easy to reach feel.

    I categorize my 'live tiles' typically to the left. My desktop icon is on the bottom left. My Office icons are in a slim row in the middle. My games and misc apps are in a row to the right of that. And the rest of the new UI apps are to the right of that. And so on...

    By having moved myself to working like this, I can quickly press the winkey button while working on, say, an open Office Word doc, move my mouse quickly to the location where I have the tile for Office Excel, click that, and be back in the desktop within a second. I can go back and forth like this with quite a bit more ease than I would back with the Start menu.

    Yes, the new UI Start menu REQUIRES you to do application cleanup to maintain a clean 'Start' menu, but when you start keeping your main apps there with the others unpinned, you can still navigate through all your apps by doing a right click in the new Start UI and choosing 'All apps' (or by simply beginning to type the application name).

    It's just a different way to do things. It's not going to work for everyone, but I'm quite comfortable in it and find that it lets me separate the application launch icons, from the desktop. Now the Start menu isn't just an overlay with a cluttered menu of folders and icons. Instead, it's like having a second desk where I keep my pens and crayons lined up while I do my drawings on my first desk. This is in contrast to having a crayon bag which I empty all over my desktop, looking for the blue crayon, which once I've found it, I pack all the other ones back into the bag and go back to working on the drawing which I had underneath.

    That's just my usability experience, everyone's will be different. It requires time to adapt, just like you need time to get used to a new TV remote or vehicle. Some people read the manual, others dive right in. Power users that learn the shortcuts (i.e. read the manual) get the most benefit. I know what all the knobs and dials do in my car, I looked into them. I think I know more about it than the dealer does, just to give an example. But you won't really 'get it' unless you've actually spent time with it. I personally don't really like going back to previous editions Windows now that I've replaced most of my computers with Windows 8. The others just seem a little more awkward to use. Mind you, they still work perfectly fine for basic tasks if that's all you want.

    But sometimes it feels a little bland, just like when the cook forgets to pour some jus over your roast.
     
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  15. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I've always used the start search box as a launcher with typing since Vista, not noticed there was a usable search on Win 8, tended to have to fiddle with getting to the start menu with a mouse gesture to the bottom right. Maybe I'm dumb for not noticing that type anywhere worked, will have to try it.

    Windows 7 has TRIM support, it also has Direct X 11 support. A GPU card maker isn't going to go out of their way to stop features working on Windows 7, I don't get your point. You will lose some pipeline optimizations which are unlikely to make much difference for the next couple of years and will account for a 1-2% graphics performance boost.

    Its not going to be $40 for most people, MS are planning to now charge around $200 soon.

    Always used the desktop and the pinned icons for regular apps, screen real estate is there to be used to make you productive.
    I wouldn't upgrade your gaming rig, many people report that there are no noticeable performance increases for games, and in fact some games have issues.
    I learn new stuff all the time, I'm a programmer, what I resent is having to learn new stuff for no good reason.

    Fashion !~ Progress

    I've not seen anyone show any big performance improvements in Win 8.

    Winkey+D has always shown the desktop since the introduction of the key, its easy to launch apps this way.

    Actually I find the start screen a mess and harder to navigate than the old start menu, however both are so useless I always use search anyway.

    Refuse to use the start screen if can help it, so could care less what 'tiles' are on it.

    Its not quicker to navigate to an entirely separate desktop (the start screen), than it is to use the old shortcuts, you just were never a power user on Windows 7 by the sound of it.

    Its not a different way to do things, the old start menu could be customized, the desktop could be customized, the start bar could be customized, you could use custom launchers, you had hot keys, you could also use the windows start search as a basic launcher.

    Letting the hands leave the keyboard is not efficient on a desktop even if you have touch, which most people do not.

    I agree that with modern wide screens it makes sense to make the start menu slide out from the side. However the gesture detect regions for the mouse see ridiculously small or unresponsive on Windows 8.

    Talking about crayons most Metro UI's look a bit fisher price.

    Why do you need a clean desktop ? You are not a surgeon, its there to be used.

    Strangely you say you are the type of person that reads the manual but you didn't know how to use Windows 7 effectively?

    Never read a manufacturers car manual, apart from the page on oil grades and tyre pressures its normally full of useless information.
     
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  16. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I use it at home. I took advantage of what I think is a very good 'upgrade' price (your thoughts on whether it is actually an upgrade or not may vary...). I also received a free upgrade to install Media Centre - which is no longer included, and will be a chargeable addon from next month.

    I want to learn it as I wish to take the relevant certs in time.

    I ignore the 'Modern UI' and click on 'Desktop'; I have installed "Start8" and have my start button back - I do not want or need a touch screen.
    I paid for it and I can use it how I want - which is basically in the same way as I have always used Windows since '95.
    I am happy with it, but in no way 'bowled-over' by it.
    Not sure of the 'flat' look of it after the 'pretty' Aero interface but I anderstand that, aiming at the tablet market, it had to be removed.
    It is definitely faster to boot and shutdown - responsivness and game FPS are very-little or no different from Win7 for me.
     
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  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    See this is just plain marketing and wrongheadedness. Aero was optional and configurable.

    There is nothing stopping MS from having :-

    1. Multiple Windows Client versions, Desktop and Tablet.
    2. Multiple Installers or install options, allowing for Desktop or Tablet
    3. A configurable UI, allowing for Desktop or Tablet
    4. Multiple Window Managers, allowing for major UI changes, deviating for either Desktop or Tablet.

    What instead we have is a 'franken OS', its still 90% a desktop OS with some tablet tweaks that don't really make that much sense to most users and aren't easy to turn off.

    If you spend $200 on an OS why should you have to pay for a separate start menu ?

    If you are in a restrictive environment (like my current job), or have to use other peoples machines, optional stuff like start 8 isn't likely to be available.

    Making potentially billions of people around the world less productive IS a big deal. Doing it to cynically try to enter the consumer tablet and phone market is inexcusable.
     
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  18. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Not quite sure how you picked this up from my text. What I meant was that the way in which we use devices is always different, and occasionally one way works better for some, than another.

    I used to be quite meticulous when I ran Windows, keeping the Start menu clean, deleting uninstall icons or readme.txt's that I found to serve no purpose within, but with time it became less important as I found other ways to launch my apps. But with the W8 Start 'screen', I find myself once again going the extra mile to keep it clean as I'm more of a visual person that distinguishes objects based on color and form rather than the text upon which previous Windows Start menu folders were based off of.

    The crayons analogy and vehicles were used to dumb down my observations for the trolls on the forum which I originally wrote this post on.

    You however like to make assumptions on my IT career and knowledge based on a text I used to provide some light-hearted observations, calling me anything but a power user, yet you know very little of my background or what I really 'know' about the Windows desktop?
     
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  19. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Interesting feedback guys.

    I am planning to rebuild my work laptop with a Windows 7/8 dual boot and will stick with Windows 8 for a while and see how it goes.

    I added a Windows 8 virtual machine with Office 2013 to my lab and I think it will need some work before I am happy with it. For example Windows 8 insists on using Microsoft online resources (such as mail) but the link to Outlook is difficult to find when logged in for the first time. I can see a need for a corporate default user profile that will use resources on the local domain.

    Also the Aero debate. Microsoft were banging on about this when Vista was released and if the PC could not support it some users would complain about it. Now it has been ripped out altogether. So what’s changed? Why is Aero now no longer required? The new interface looks like Windows 3.1

    The start button – did anyone ever complain about the start button? I do remember the old school start button in Windows 95/98 that would go across the whole of the sceen if you had a few too many software apps installed but from Vista onwards everything was fine.

    Not to go too far off the original topic but I have also been testing Exchange 2013. It now appears that there are only two roles in Exchange 2013, Client Access and Mailbox server role. Exchange 2010 had 5 roles. Exchange 2003 had front-end and back-end servers. Sometimes it feels like Microsoft changes things to the point that we are going over the same ground and features that have been shouted about in a release of a Microsoft product have been ripped out in the next release.

    Anyways – on with the Server 2012 studying!! :) :)
     
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  20. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Yes, only two E2013 roles now. Some 'rumors' talk of an Edge role coming out with SP1, but you never really know, only the Product Group can decide on those things.

    A few customers are a little disappointed as the UM role can no longer be installed on its own in a distant site (with a Hub Transport role to push the voice messages as emails to the MBX server hosting the mailboxes of the recipients getting those voice mails), which will lead to a number of redesigns in regards to server and Enterprise Telephony infrastructure.
     
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